OPINION — As a candidate for Utah’s 2nd Congressional district, I stand firmly against the proposed “Fairness for All” Act legislation proposed by Rep. Chris Stewart. I, alongside the ACLU, HRC, GLAAD, the NAACP, the National Fair Housing Alliance and numerous other entities, do not believe in “separate but equal” legislation.
I extend a nod in recognition of members of religious communities coming out in support that LGBTQ people should be treated as equal under the law no matter their gender identity and sexual orientation. However, I disagree with the idea that full civil rights are for some classes of people, but not LGBTQ people.
I am against proposals featured in the bill, such as businesses with fewer than 15 employees being allowed to turn away customers based on their LGBTQ status. This is legally-protected discrimination. “Compromising” rights for a specific group is not moving forward.
For years, our local LGBTQ community has suffered under the cultural encouragement of undergoing traumatic, damaging conversion therapy to achieve acceptance and love in society. In the light of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ and Gov. Gary Herbert’s recent support of the ban against conversion therapy, I challenge Utahns to continue looking forward on LGBTQ rights. It’s time to love our neighbors.
Representative Chris Stewart has not been an advocate of the LGBTQ community, and I do not buy into this pride parade he’s leading.
My campaign is unequivocally based on fairness without exceptions. To all LGBTQ people reading this, know that you are wanted, supported and equal in our eyes. If I was in office, I wouldn’t be happy with civil rights half-measures — I would be pushing for something much more comprehensive. In that vein, I encourage all of us to speak out against the “Fairness to All” Act and to look instead to better alternatives such as the Equality Act, which would grant full and equal rights for LGBTQ people.
Submitted by ASHLEY JOLIN, Democratic candidate for Congressional District 2.
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